Mankind has always had the greatest curiosities and ambitions, one of them being to reach the deepest place on Earth. We must admit that not all of us were born to practice such extreme activities but thanks to some incredibly brave and extremely passionate people, we managed to find a huge number of caves around the globe.
Some caves have been transformed and open to the general public, but some of the most difficult and deepest are and will always be accessible only for a few special persons who have the special skills to explore the magic that can only be found in depth.
If you are passionate about caves or just curious to find out which is the deepest cave or in which country is located, we have prepared a list of 19 deepest caves in the world.
- 19. Kuzgun Cave – 4.594ft / 1.400m Depth
- 18. Gouffre de La Pierre Saint-Martin – 4.626 ft / 1.410 m Depth
- 17. Boybuloq– 4.642 ft / 1.415 m Depth
- 16. Egma Sinkhole ( Peynirlikönü Mağarası )– 4.688 ft / 1.429 m Depth
- 15. Velebit Caves– 4.694 ft / 1.431 m Depth
- 14. Sistema del Trave– 4.727 ft / 1.441 m Depth
- 13. Čehi 2 – 4.938 ft / 1.505 m Depth
- 12. Sima de la Cornisa– 4.944 ft / 1.507 m Depth
- 11. Chevé Cave – 5.039 ft / 1.536 m Depth
- 10. Sistema Huautla – 5.118 ft / 1.560 m Depth
- 9. Hirlatz Cave(Wot-U-Got Pot)– 5.118 ft / 1.560 m Depth
- 8. Sistema del Cerro del Cuevón– 5.213 ft / 1.589 m Depth
- 7. Gouffre Jean-Bernard – 5.331 ft / 1.625 m Depth
- 6. Gouffre Mirolda – 5.685 ft / 1.733 m Depth
- 5. Lamprechtsofen– 5.692 ft / 1.735 m Depth
- 4. Snezhnaya-Mezhennogo-Illyuziya– 5.774 ft / 1.760m Depth
- 3. Sarma Cave – 6.004 ft / 1.830m Depth
- 2. Krubera-Voronja Cave – 7.214 ft / 2.199m Depth
- 1. Veryovkina Cave – 7.257 ft / 2.212 m Depth
19. Kuzgun Cave – 4.594ft / 1.400m Depth
Located in Aladaglar mountains ridge on the southern coast of Anatolia in Turkey, the Kuzgun Cave was discovered in 2003 within the “Call of the Abyss” project. During those 20 days of operation, the Ukrainian cavers together with Turkish geologists have been managed to push from -1.312ft (-400m) to -4.594ft (-1.400m) depth, which is one of the greatest depth advance ever made during a single expedition. It has an approximate length of 1.9mi(3.1km) and is rich in various cave formations as stalactites, stalagmites, and helictites. With its entrances located at 9.186 – 11.811 ft (2.800-3600 m) height above the sea-level, the Kuzgun Cave is also the second deepest cave in Turkey and Asia.
18. Gouffre de La Pierre Saint-Martin – 4.626 ft / 1.410 m Depth
Situated in both France and Spain, the Gouffre de La Pierre Saint-Martin cave is a real gem of the La Pierre Saint-Martin karst. The first known cave research took place in 1818 but the cave was actually discovered in 1950 by Georges Lépineux and Giuseppe Occhialini. So far, a total of 270 mi (435 km) have been explored by specialists and only 179 mi(288 km) of passages and chambers have been mapped.
With 7 known entrances on the French side and 4 on the Spanish side, this fantastic cave comprises one of the largest known underground chambers in the world called Salle de la Verna, which was discovered in 1953 and opened to the public in 2010, but also the Salle de l’Eclipse, which has a remarkable echo effect repeating the sounds three times. Furthermore, the Wind tunnel (“Tunnel du Vent”) is another fascinating part of this cave. The name of this tunnel comes from the fact that in that place there is always a constant wind with a speed up to 25 mph (40 km/h) that is formed due to the two entrances that are at different heights and on which the tunnel links. (source)
17. Boybuloq– 4.642 ft / 1.415 m Depth
The Boybuloq has a length of 9.2 mi (14.8km) and has been exploited since 1984 first by Russian cavers and then by cavers from countries such as Italy, Great Britain, Slovakia, France, and Switzerland. Located in Uzbekistan at the edge of Baysun-Tau mountain ridge, it is a limestone cave with a thickness of limestone strata of 200 to 350 m, but unlike other caves of this kind, the Boybulog was created by condensation. Being known as the deepest cave in Central Asia, the Boybuloq is definitely not a place to visit. It consists of very narrow passages, which makes it extremely difficult to explore and impossible to benefit from any rescue operation.
16. Egma Sinkhole ( Peynirlikönü Mağarası )– 4.688 ft / 1.429 m Depth
At number 17 on our list is Egma Sinkhole that is located in Sugözü, Turkey. As its name suggests, it is not a cave but a sinkhole, meaning that it was formed by the collapse of the surface layer. Another interesting thing about its name is that it is an acronym that stands for EvrenGünay – Mehmet Ali Özel. Mehmet Ali Özel was one of the sinkhole’s explorers that lost his life inside the cave in 2001. ( source )
15. Velebit Caves– 4.694 ft / 1.431 m Depth
Velebit is one of the largest mountain ranges in Croatia, being famous for hosting two extraordinary natural parks but also for being home to many caves. The Velebit cave system was explored from 1992 to 2012, during which time extraordinary things were discovered, like the first example of a small creature belonging to the classification Troglobiont. Four of the Velebit caves are Lukina Jama, Slovacka Jama, Velebita, and Meduza and can be found in the”Hajdučki i Rožanski kukovi” special reserve, a part of the Sjeverni Velebit national park.
Lukina Jama is the deepest cave of all and the 14th deepest cave in southeast Europe, notable for the fact that at its foot can be found many ponds and streams. The cave has two entrances that can be found at different altitudes: one at 4.717 ft and the other one called Trojama at 4.839 ft. The microclimate conditions of this cave are very stable with temperatures between 42°F (5.8 oC) to 38 °F (3.2 oC).
14. Sistema del Trave– 4.727 ft / 1.441 m Depth
Sistema del Trave or Trave System is not only one of the deepest caves in the world but it is also one that has a remarkable vertical development that makes it one of the largest in the world. Its entrance was discovered in 1982 while its 4.727 ft depth was found seven years later. Located in the central massif of the Picos de Europa in northern Spain, the Trave System is formed from three interconnected chasms called Laureola with an elevation of 6.699 ft (2.042 m), Alba with an elevation of 6.489ft (1.975 m) and Trabewith an elevation of 6.289 ft(1.917 m ). The Trave System was declared a national monument on August 31, 2005.
13. Čehi 2 – 4.938 ft / 1.505 m Depth
Situated in Rombonskipodi over Bovec, Čehi 2 is the deepest cave in Slovenia. Having an as-yet-undetermined length, this cave was discovered in 1991 and has an entrance at 6.669 ft (2.033 m) above sea level. At the bottom of this cave, a siphon can be found. Unfortunately, the cave is not open to the public but only to very experienced cavers.
12. Sima de la Cornisa– 4.944 ft / 1.507 m Depth
Sima de la Cornisa has an impressive depth of 4.944 ft and it can be found in the Torre de la Palanca, within the historical Picos de Europa massif. Known as the second deepest cave in Spain, Sima de la Cornisawas explored between 2001 and 2007, and it is recognized by professional cavers as a very difficult cave to seek. ( source )
11. Chevé Cave – 5.039 ft / 1.536 m Depth
Chevé Cave is believed to be formed in the Pleistocene Epoch but was discovered in 1980 by Bill Farr and Carol Vesely. Located in Sierra Juárez mountain ranges in Mexico state of Oaxaca, the Chevé Cave’s main entrance is situated in a pine forest and has an opening of 98 ft( 30m) high and 19ft wide (6m). Inside the cave the temperatures are very moderate, ranging between 47 and 52 °F (8 and 11 °C). With 12 mi (22.5 km) of passages, this cave system has several chambers, one of them being the Basket Room (Cuarto de las Canastas), also known as the point where the sunlight does not penetrate anymore. Like its predecessor in this top, this cave is also extremely difficult to explore from a logistical point of view, requiring more than 6 ft (2 m) of rope and 3 underground camps.
It is also important to mention that evidence was found that Chevé Cave was used by pre-hispanic people for various ceremonies, one of the greatest being the discovery of a turquoise mosaic tablet dating to the Late Postclassic period (1250–1500 AD). ( source )
10. Sistema Huautla – 5.118 ft / 1.560 m Depth
Sistema Huautla is a cave system with a very interesting history. Located in the Sierra Mazatecamountains of the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, the Sistema Huautlawas is the first cave outside of Europe to be explored deeper than 3.280 ft (1.000 m). It was discovered in 1960 and has over 53 mi (80km)of mapped passageways. In an expedition in 1965, numerous caves were discovered in the same Sierra Mazatecamountains and in 1960 when all the data collected were analyzed it was concluded that all caves form a system and are connected to each other. The deepest point of the cave was discovered in another expedition in 1977 and by 2015 a total of 20 entries were found.
Another expedition worth mentioning is the one in 1994 in which the American Dr. Bill Stone created the rebreather to help him dive into the terminal sump.
9. Hirlatz Cave(Wot-U-Got Pot)– 5.118 ft / 1.560 m Depth
The next cave on our list is situated in one of the biggest limestone areas in Austria, which is in the Dachstein Mountains near Hallstatt. The Wot-U-Got-Pot (WUG) is one of the 6 entrances to the Hirlatz cave and the one that was used by cavers in September 2018 when a fantastic new discovery took place. In the famous expedition, a new passage with a total length of over 113km was discovered from WUG to Hirlatz Cave. This major breakthrough made the Hirlatz Cave the 20th longest and ninth deepest in the world.
Richly decorated with stalagmites and other formations, the cave has a high humidity and very low temperatures of up to 35,6°F (2 °C ), conditions that do not favor long expeditions.
8. Sistema del Cerro del Cuevón– 5.213 ft / 1.589 m Depth
Sistema del Cerro del Cuevónis the deepest chasm in Spain and it’s bottom was for the first time reached by professional cavers in 1998. This karst system is located in the central massif of the Picos de Europa in the Austrian council of Cabrales and has 2 entrances. One of the entrances is called Torca del Cerro del Cuevón and has an elevation of 6.624 (2.019 m) above sea level while the second entrance named Torca de las Saxifragas has an elevation of 5.216 ft (1.590 m) above sea level.
The route to the deepest point of the Sistema del Cerro del Cuevón is one of the hardest in the world and takes up to 3 days.
7. Gouffre Jean-Bernard – 5.331 ft / 1.625 m Depth
Gouffre Jean-Bernard is a karstic cave situated in the Alps in Samoëns, France. The cave was discovered in 1963 by the French caving group Groupe Vulcain and was named after Jean Dupont and Bernard Raffy, two Groupe Vulcain members who lost their lives in the same year but in an unrelated expedition. In the first phase, only one entrance was found for this cave, but in the following years, a few more were discovered, reaching a total number of 13 entrances. The highest entrance is at 2,274 (7,461 ft) above sea level. (source)
6. Gouffre Mirolda – 5.685 ft / 1.733 m Depth
Discovered in 1971 by a shepherd called Marc Degrinis, the GouffreMirolda is the deepest cave in France. It was named after Rhodanien cavers Michel Schmidt, Roland Chenevier, and Daniel Trouilleux who died in a flood in Gournier Cave in 1976. The GouffreMirolda is located in France and is part of the Haut-Griffre mountain range in the commune of Samoëns, Haute-Savoie, and is connected with the Lucien Bouclier cave system. (source)
5. Lamprechtsofen– 5.692 ft / 1.735 m Depth
With its 56 km total extension, the Lamprechtsofen is a limestone karst cave in Austria, northwest of WeißbachbeiLofer (Salzburg), Austria, in the Leogang Mountains. What is fascinating about this cave is the legend that gave it its name. Legend has it that many centuries ago, a knight named Lamprecht who owned a castle in that area left a great treasure to his daughters. After Knight Lamprecht’s death, one of his daughters stole the treasure and hid it in the Lamprecht Cave. Over the centuries many people came and tried to find the hidden treasure until 1701 when the government decided to block the entrance. In 1905 many human skeletons were found inside the cave, most likely belonging to treasure hunters.
Nowadays, a 2.300 ft ( 700 m ) portion of the Lamprechtsofen cave is opened to the public at certain times of the year.
4. Snezhnaya-Mezhennogo-Illyuziya– 5.774 ft / 1.760m Depth
Dangerous and very difficult to work in, the Snezhnaya-Mezhennogo-Illyuziya (SMI) cave system is known to be visited by more than 300 professional cavers in those 40 expeditions that took place until now. During those expeditions, more than 20 mi (32 km) of galleries have been mapped, three large underground waterfalls have been discovered, and 18 chambers have been revealed.
The SMI cave system is located within the Khipstinsky karstic massif, in the Western Caucasus, Georgia, and has been investigated for more than 50 years. The system has three entrances called the Snezhnaya with 6.463 ft (1.970 m) above sea level, the Mezhennogowith 6.610 ft (2.015 m ) above sea level, and the Illyuziya that was discovered in July 2007 with 7.838 ft ( 2.389) above sea level. The temperatures inside the cavity range between 32- 35.6° F (0-2°C) at the entrance reaching 49.6° F (9,8°C) at the depth.
3. Sarma Cave – 6.004 ft / 1.830m Depth
Sarma cave is located on the Arabika mountain plateau, in Gagra District, Abkhazia, Georgia, and was first discovered and explored in the 1990s. The deepest point of 6.004 ft (1.830 m ) was reached in 2012 when the team led by Pavel Rudko measured the depth of the Sarma Cave during the expedition that took place between September 1st – October 7th, 2011.
Sarma cave is not open to the public but only to members of the professional expedition group with special skills. (source)
2. Krubera-Voronja Cave – 7.214 ft / 2.199m Depth
With an astonishing depth of 7.214 ft (2.199m), Krubera-Voronja Cave was the deepest cave in the world between 2001 and 2019.The name of Krubera comes from the Russian geographer Alexander Kruber while Voronja (Russian for crows) was a slang name used by speleologists due to a large number of crows nesting in the entrance.
Even though it became the deepest cave in the world in 2001, the deepest point of the cave was found in 2018 by the Ukrainian cave diver Gennady Samokhin in an expedition that lasted 27 days. Same as Sarma Cave, the Krubera Cave is also located in the Arabika Massif, in the Gagra district of Abkhazia, Georgia and itsmain entrance can be found at an altitude of 7,401 ft(2,256 m).
Being very narrow, this cave was not easy to explore and had to be carved over the years to allow other expeditions to take place safely.
1. Veryovkina Cave – 7.257 ft / 2.212 m Depth
The last cave on our list is the Veryovkina Cave which is also the deepest-known cave on Earth. Discovered in 1968, the cave is located in the Gagra district of Abkhazia, Georgia, and was named after the caver and cave diver Alexander Verëvkin. The cave was massively explored between 1968-2019 with a break between 1986-2000. In 2017, the Perovo-speleo team set a new world record when they reached a depth of 7,231 ft (2,204 m) and in 2019 they discovered the final depth of 7.257 ft (2,212) of the cave.
The Veryovkina Cave has only one known entrance situated at 7.497 ft (2.285m) above sea level in the Arabika Massif, Gagra Mountain Range with a cross-section of 9.8 ft × 13.1 ft (3 m × 4 m).
According to professional speleologists, a round trip from top to bottom and back takes about a week and involves extremely many risks.